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What are outer envelopes and how are they used?

If you're new to wedding invitations, you may have some questions about addressing the envelopes. We now offer inner and outer envelopes, and this raises even more questions. Once you have all the facts, its easy to get this project completed. Let's go over the basics.



The double envelope harkens back to a time when the mail service wasn't the clean modern marvel that it is today. Often time mail traveled by horse through dusty streets on it's way to the recipient. Upon arrival the household butler would free the pristine envelope from it's dirty shackles and deliver the crisp clean inner envelope to the Master of the house.

While free from butlers and pony express, there is still a place for double envelopes, especially when it comes to invitations.


Addressing the Envelopes



The inner envelope allows you to dictate exactly who is included in the invitation, avoiding an awkward misunderstanding on the day of the event. If you are inviting the entire family, spell out the names of everyone invited as follows; Mr & Mrs. Howard, Kelly Howard, Clark Howard & Erin Howard. If allowing a single person to bring a guest you would write Ms. Lesley Lemon and Guest, for example.

The outer envelope is addressed, traditionally, using titles, first, and last names. Etiquette rules state that you may abbreviate the tiles, like Dr, Miss, or Mr. but you should not abbreviate the address. You'll want to spell out Street not St. Boulevard not Blvd. , and so on. The authority on etiquette, Emily Post, has an exhaustive list of just about every situation you can imagine. You can find that list here, it will help immensely as you get into more delicate situations, like divorcees and those with professional titles.


Assembling The Suite

Once everything is addressed, you'll want to take the time and assemble the invitation suite properly. If you're using an envelope liner, you'll want to line the inner envelope, which is typically not sealed. If you are using a darkly colored Pocket Invitation, you may want to use a sheet of tissue overlay to protect the printed invitation in transit, it ensures that the colors wont run onto the printed piece. You place the Pocket Invitation into the addressed envelope so that the back of the Pocket Invitation is seen when you lift the envelope flap. You will then place this inside the outer envelope so that when the outer envelopes is opened, you see the names written on the inner envelope.


We recommend using a sponge bottle filled with water vs saliva when it comes to sealing the outer envelope. Applying even pressure ensures a secure seal.


Quote Postage First

One last tip regarding envelopes, Be sure to take a completed invitation to the post office to get an accurate postage quote prior to sending out the invites. Imagine the heartbreak of all those carefully prepared invitations boomeranging right back to you before your guests even see them.

Your invitations are now done, in the mail and you're onto funner tasks, like cake tastings! Have fun!

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